The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has concluded that more than a third of Americans are overweight, and 30 % don’t exercise at all! So being a personal trainer for over 30 years here are the top 10 Fitness Myths Exposed.
1. Lack of time.
If it is important to you you will do it. Do you eat dinner every day? Brush your teeth? Watch tv? It only takes 60 minutes per day, don’t have 60 minutes at one time, break it down into increments that you can manage.
2. Can’t afford a gym.
Walk, ride a bike, jump rope, join our weekly family fitness challenges. No equipment is needed and you can get an unbelievable workout right at home.
3. “I’m too old.”
I have heard this one many times, even from some of my own family members. Stop worrying about age and get your body moving! Every little bit will help your body and mind. Try tai chi, yoga, pilates, rent a DVD. Join the local YMCA.
4. No Pain, No Gain.
Yes, as a Fitness Instructor teaching Hi/Low Aerobics back in the 90′s this was our mantra. But believe me, I now teach yoga, pilates, aquatics regularly and this saying couldn’t be farther from the truth! So suffering isn’t required, aim to push yourself to fatigue, not pain.
5. You must break a sweat.
How much or little you sweat does not correlate with how many calories you are expending. Just get out there and move your body!
6. You must stretch before you exercise.
For the past 20 years this has been a hot topic at every conference I have attended. As an instructor, our goal was to warm our clients for 5-10 minutes before any type of class and 5-7 minutes post stretching too. So here is my scoop, the reason why we should stretch is to warm up our muscles before you we use them, it helps with blood flow and oxygen to the working muscles. If you don’t want to do 30 minutes of stretching prior to walking, just jog in place, do knee lifts, and swing arms in circles, bend over and touch toes, think about the parts of your body, and do little movements that will copy the big movements you are about to do! Be creative!
7. Crunches melt away belly fat.
The truth is you can not spot reduce! Ab work is great, but ab work will not reduce the fat around your midsection, cardio and diet will do that. But it is important to do ab work because it will help strengthen and protect your back, improve your posture and increase overall muscle mass, which when you have more muscle into fat in your body you will burn more calories even at a resting heart rate.
8. Women using weights will get bulky.
Not unless you are on steroids. The truth is that most weightlifting women won’t end up with big bulky man-like muscles because they simply have less testosterone. Any kind of strength training will help improve bone density, increase muscle mass and decrease body fat in men and women.
9. Dieting is enough.
No, it’s not! You must combine regular activity with consuming lean proteins, healthy fats, limited starches, and no added sugars.
10. Exercise is hard.
Then you haven’t found the right exercise for you. Don’t think push-ups think to walk in the park, or yoga, experiment with new types of sporting activities! Fencing, kicking a soccer ball with your kids, this type of activity is fun.